No, this photograph does not show ‘RSS terrorists of India’, it’s from Bangladesh.
An image is being widely shared on Facebook, with hashtags related to Islamophobia. The image shows a group of men armed with axes and machetes. There is no textual claim attached, the images are simply shared with hashtags like ‘#Islamophobia_In_India‘, ‘#The_Real_Terrorists_In_India‘ and ‘#Muslimphobia_In_India‘.
The photograph has circles drawn on it, to draw attention to the melee weapons carried.
User Thajudeen J’s post was shared by over 33,000 users.
It's fascist India. Extremist Hindus equipped with lethal weapons are roaming around the streets and looking for minorities to thrash and kill….! pic.twitter.com/QYVuXsXWLc
— طلال بِن السدیس (@Ibn_e_Talal) April 29, 2020
#RSS_KillingMuslims #RSS_Terrorism pic.twitter.com/9K1OSYa5s5
— Bilal Ahmad Gujjar 🇵🇰 (@ChBilalAhmad17) April 24, 2020
Using a reverse image search, we tried to establish the source of the image, so as to verify the claims.
The search returned results dating back to 2013, with there being exact matches of the image.
The oldest post with this photograph is on a website called ‘Facts of Bangladesh’ on March 5, 2013. The page identifies these people as members of the Bangladesh Chatra League, the student wing of a major political party, the Awami League.
Another blog shared the same image in December 2013, in a post titled ‘কেমন ছিল ছাত্রলীগের উন্নয়নের ৫ বছর- ছবিগুলো দেখে বলুন’ which translates to ‘How was the 5 years of development of Chhatra League – tell me by looking at the pictures.’
The post contains a series of armed, violent people, including the one being shared with a false claim.
Here, the image has a watermark of ‘www.SylhetTimes24.com’. Sylhet is a city in northeastern Bangladesh. The website in the watermark does not exist anymore.
An image of armed men belonging to Bangladesh’s Chhatra League from March 2013 has therefore been falsely shared as ‘RSS terrorists of India’.